Without a doubt, the career of a welder is quite rewarding. However, to pursue this career, you don’t need to take a certification. Many employers out there are even ready to hire entry-level workers with no certificate. The demand for welders is so high, that some companies are ready to overlook whether you have a certificate or not if you have the proper skills. So, considering all this, is welding school worth it?
A welding certificate is not required to become a welder. But with time, more and more employers will prefer welders with some proper education. So, it is best to stay ahead of the curve and get a degree just in case. If your resume comes with some reliable welding education, it’s easier to land on any employer’s short-list for an interview.
There is much more to getting enrolled in a welding school than just getting an easier chance at landing an interview. There are many other reasons why you may want to enroll at a welding school. But just like everything else, there will be a few drawbacks you will also need to consider. If your curiosity is piqued, I will address all this and more in the rest of the article.
10 Reasons Why It Is Worth Going to a Welding School
If you decide to pursue welding as a career, you will be required to possess a certain level of skills, technical training, and some experience. Because it is a career that demands a lot of safety, skills, and focus, many contemplate enrolling in a welding school.
But it is no simple decision whether you wish to enroll in a welding school or not. You will be investing a lot of time, effort, and money to acquire all the needed skills in the long run. It’s easy to have doubts over whether it will be worth such a huge investment. Let’s look at 10 reasons why it is worth going to a welding school:
1. Applicants with Welding Training are in More Demand
Technically, there are many employers out there who will hire applicants with nothing beyond a high school diploma or something equivalent. It’s not entirely impossible to land an entry-level welding job with no certificate at all. But nowadays, post-secondary education at a welding training school is one of the first few requirements among employers.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most welders will need at least a GED or high school diploma, on-the-job training, and technical training. A welding school makes the path to pursue a welding career a lot smoother.
Another problem arises when you wish to get a bit further in the job market. Nowadays experienced welders are in high demand and it will only rise with time.
According to the American Welding Society, there will be a huge shortage of welders in the next couple of years and the demand for experienced welders in the next couple of years will skyrocket. So, if you wish to enroll at a welding school, now might be the best time to do it.
2. More Skills Means More Pay
Getting a certificate from a welding school doesn’t only guarantee a place in an employer’s short-list of resumes to fill positions. You may even get the opportunity to make a huge sum of money. According to BLS, there is a direct connection between education and income. The higher level of degree you have, the more you can expect to earn.
When welders are fresh out of welding school, they are already making a decent amount of money. With time they gain more skills and their wages increase as well. According to PayScale, you can expect to make about $24000-$55000 annually as an entry-level welder.
Then when you gain some more experience, you can make almost as much as $100,000 if you work overtime. Underwater welders are more experienced and make more than $100,000 per year. So, if you go to a welding school and gain more skills and experience, it’s no surprise you can earn a huge amount each year.
3. Better Education of Welding Fundamentals
If you are a beginner with much passion for welding and wish to learn it whole from the basics, there’s no exception to learning it from a welding school. When you attend a welding school, you can get a first-class seat to experience all the fundamentals of arc welding practices and processes.
All the instructions for pipe and flux-core welding, structural welding, and other complex processes will be there in welding training. There will be other subjects such as lessons on welding symbols, welding safety, career preparation, and much more. So if you wish to start from the basics but don’t know where to start, consider attending a welding school.
4. A Chance to Work in a Lot of Different Industries
When you graduate from a welding school, an opportunity to work in a huge variety of industries opens up for you. You even get the luxury to choose the industry that strikes your fancy and work in it. If you like to work outdoors, you can look for a job in the pipeline or construction welding.
Ever thought of working while flying? Take a chance in the aerospace industry and you can take on some of the highest-paying gigs. You even have the chance to work from the depths of the ocean as an underwater welder. You can earn as much as $25,000 a month depending on your skills and overtime as an underwater welder.
If you enjoy heights, you can work on new buildings with fantastic views. The choice is all yours after you graduate and gain all the experience needed from the welding school.
5. You Get Much Room for Specialization
If you choose to attend a welding school, you can take specialized courses to develop the specific skills you want. The more specialized you become, the more demandable you are. All the industries with bigger wages require highly skilled welders.
Industries such as the aerospace industry, shipbuilding industry, or underwater industry all need welders with a higher degree of specialized skills and better attention to detail. Specializing in a certain field can prove to be challenging but the rewards and benefits you get are even more incredible.
6. Preparation to Become a Certified Welder under AWS
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has confirmed that the best way you can prepare for your welding certificate from the American Welding Society (AWS) is through welding schools. Earning the certification gives you a lot of rewards such as stronger demand for employment, better salary potential, and job stability.
The certifications from the AWS are proof that the welder has certain knowledge and skills. There are many employers out there who require this certification.
7. More Opportunities to Establish Networks in the Welding Industry
Just like the environment in most higher education institutes, you will also be able to develop a huge network of reliable instructors and peers when you get into a welding school. Throughout your career, the established networks can help you out whenever you are facing any hardships.
Most of the instructors at your welding school are active in the industry as welders themselves. Otherwise, they are most probably retired after a long rewarding career in the field.
So welding school allows you to establish a lot of networking with these veterans. You can get help and advice regarding the skills you need to learn or the courses you need to master to become a successful welder in the industry.
8. Participate in Different Education Paths and Gain More Experience
The skills and experience you gain from welding school are just one of the ways you can choose to start your career. You can learn and gain experience through many other ways along with it to master all the skills you need.
Be it apprenticeship or learning yourself, you can get better at welding through many other education paths alongside school. Any experience you gain is invaluable in the field of welding.
9. You Won’t Have to Sit Behind a Desk to Learn
One of the best things about welding schools is that there is no need to sit behind a desk when you learn. Different from most other majors, you will be working on mostly hands-on work. You will spend most of your time honing all your skills and perfecting your craft. There will be a classroom where you study and learn everything about welding.
Then in the lab, you will use all the welding equipment and gain experience by hand. You can learn various skills on hand and gain experience working in various environments rather than staying buried in books.
10. Advantage of Gaining Career Services Right after You Graduate
There are great welding schools that help their students find jobs and offer various other career services after they graduate. The relationship between your school and you won’t end just because you have graduated. They will help you in your career and ensure that you can be as successful as you can be in this profession.
The many career services include building your resume, preparing for interviews, bringing in employers to smooth out the recruitment purposes, and much more. So if you are unsure about how you can build your career, welding schools can help you sort it all out.
How Hard Is It to Pass Welding School?
The difficulty of passing welding school really depends on you. If you have a passion for it and actually enjoy it, you’ll pass in no time. But it is a job that requires high skill, lots of practice, and determination. So, it’s a matter of being ready to keep at it until you succeed.
Welding is the perfect career for those who like building stuff or working with their hands and love to travel for work. If you can relate to such ideas, welding might be for you as well. But to learn to weld you will need to go through welding training school and signing up for one is not an easy decision.
The decision can be overwhelming for many as people think welding school is hard to pass. Welding school is not hard if you have the passion, drive, and determination to become a successful welder.
Welding is a trade skill that can be learned with enough time, effort, and determination. So, if you are committed to this path and have the eagerness to learn the skill, you should have no problem giving the necessary time and effort to perfect the craft.
In the welding school, you will learn all you will need from trained professionals that are either still active or have been in the industry for a long time. If you show up to all your classes and have enough focus to take in everything you are being taught, everything should go smoothly.
How Long Will It Take to Become a Certified Welder?
If you have decided to pursue the career of a welder, you will need to get enrolled at a welding training school and then pass a welding certification examination. How long the whole process takes will depend on the educational route you choose. There are different educational paths that you can decide to take.
If you are under someone’s apprenticeship, it may take a few years to finish your training. But if you decide to get enrolled in a vocational school, you will be finished with it in less than a year.
Then again, some start welding from as early as a high school if there is a vocational program in their school. Others start with no experience whatsoever at a vocational school.
If you go to a welding program at a community college, it will last for about two years and you get to come out with an associate degree. There are certifications you can get when you are finished with your welding training and others will require the least amount of experience in the field.
Considerations Before Getting Enrolled In A Welding School.
There are many reasons why getting enrolled at a welding school is worth it. But that doesn’t mean it has no drawbacks whatsoever. A few things you might want to consider before getting enrolled in a welding school are:
- You might have to quit your full-time job to attend a welding school. It’s not easy for everyone to keep working part-time and attend a welding school and many might not be able to do it.
- Welding schools can cost you as much as $20,000 to attend. Although there are lots of benefits you enjoy, it may not be for everyone.
- Welding supplies can cost a lot. And you will need them to start learning welding. So, make sure you have a good budget to buy the proper equipment. The welder, PPE, welding table etc. can add up to a large sum.
Tips to Make Welding School A Lot Easier
Despite the little drawbacks, welding school comes with many benefits you just cannot overlook. But because welding is a skill you need to learn by hand, it will take much time and effort. When you go to welding school you will spend a lot of time and effort honing your skills and make them perfect. You cannot expect it to be easy.
But there are a few tips I have that may help:
Learn everything “Hands-on”
You will need to get your hands dirty if you want to get better at welding. The art of welding is much easier and more fun for those who want to learn everything by doing it. You cannot get better at this skill by studying.
You will learn by using your welding table, machines, and tools. The more mistakes you make, the more you will learn how to avoid them. You will spend more time learning and experimenting with all the welding equipment and these experiences will be critical in making you an expert.
Good Instructors Make it Easier to Learn
If you have an experienced instructor, you will be able to learn more effectively from them. You need to look for an instructor who has the experience, skills and is good at teaching or communicating. A good instructor can make learning far more enjoyable and easier,
Welding is a skill you can’t expect to get good at by only practicing it in the classroom. This skill requires repetition until it becomes the welder’s second nature.
Only through persistence and determination can you get your desired results. So even after school, you will need to learn and practice by yourself.
You cannot expect to become a gifted welder overnight. This is a skill that requires much effort and a lot of time.
There will be a lot of mistakes, shortcomings, and challenges. If you manage to have the patience to break through all these hardships, only then you can perfect this skill. The more time passes, the closer you get to mastering all the welding skills.
When you decide to pursue the path of becoming a professional welder, most choose to get enrolled at a welding school. But when you can become a welder without graduating from a time-consuming and expensive program, it’s easy to wonder what makes it worth getting in.
In this article, I have shared 10 reasons to resolve your doubts about whether or not is welding school worth it. I have also included everything you may be curious to know about getting enrolled at a welding school. I hope this article has helped you satisfy all your curiosities. Thank you for reading till now.